Author: Joe Wheeler
Publisher: Howard Books
ISBN: 978-1-4767-0286-5

What I can’t help but notice in these stories is that we learn far more from what Lincoln was than what he said. In these days of imperial presidencies, how jarring it is to read about a president who, like Christ, felt that humble service to all, young or old, rich or poor, regardless of race or religion, was what life was all about.” Joe Wheeler remarks in his book, Abraham Lincoln Civil War Stories – Heartwarming Stories about our Most Beloved President.

At three hundred and fifty-seven pages, this hardbound book by Joe Wheeler, author and compiler of over eighty books, is targeted to those who want to know more about our famous sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln. Written stories, poems and readings from a plethora of writers covering over one and a half centuries promote the tradition of story-telling about the powerful icon. Dating every writer’s work and an index would be helpful to use for reference.

Wheeler, a story archeologist whose mother also loved Lincoln and kept thousands of pages on the man, has ownership of most of the original texts. Divided into four parts in chronological order after the introduction, stories are written of the frontier years, the Civil War’s early and late years and how this man’s name has lived on in our hearts today. The tales range from one to sixteen pages with an epilogue by Robert Brewster Stanton followed by notes of all enclosed compilations. There are at least a dozen black and white photographs of Lincoln at different stages of his life.

Starting with Abe’s childhood to the presidency, yarns are told of how he worked three days to purchase a ruined book, his stepmother’s viewpoint of him and how he put God on the back burner for twenty years when his son, Eddie, died. His depression over the death of Will is mentioned along with son Tad’s White House shenanigans with no children to play with except begging his father to play Injun or help him give up his pet goat, Nanny.

During the Civil War, tomes are told of Lincoln’s involvement with soldiers on both sides of the war, from pardoning for falling asleep, scolding for not writing one’s mother, forgiving a father for shooting a pet dog or comforting a Confederate on his death bed. The more current-day section shows Captain Osborne Oldroyd’s deep love for relics and artifacts of Lincoln’s along with rose traditions given on the president’s honored birthday.

With each short or long story, one shuts the book pages further fascinated and charmed by Abraham Lincoln’s personality, strong beliefs and dedicated service to our country. Based on these first-person compilations, he truly was the most beloved president to date and this book is a living testament of who he was and what he believed founded on others’ impressions.

This book was furnished by Simon & Schuster for review purposes.

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